Alex Trebek has apologized for his role as moderator of the Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate on Monday, which drew criticism from voters who felt the "Jeopardy!" host should have spoken less and instead allowed candidates more time to defend their policy positions.
Rather than ask questions and allow candidates to answer and respond, Trebek instead spoke for much of the 45-minute debate, posted by C-SPAN, between Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Scott Wagner, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Trebek also cracked several jokes, including a quip about systematic abuse within the Catholic Church, and delivered a lengthy explanation to audiences about why he had accepted the request to moderate the debate, according to The Wrap.
“I'm not a big fan of the traditional debate formats,” he said. “I decided we're going to have a conversation where I can ask questions, I can prod or I can challenge the candidates and who knows, maybe we will discover something new about their personalities their character that we didn't know beforehand.”
In his apology statement, Trebek said he “failed to recognize the seriousness of the event for the voters,” according to the Inquirer.
“I thought that as moderator, I was to provide a certain light-hearted approach while still being able to challenge the candidates on their record or positions,” he said. “I didn't realize I was to ask a simple question and then let the gentlemen go at each other.”
Trebek offered his “sincere apologies to the people of Pennsylvania, a state I dearly love.”
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